Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gallery Picks of the Month, JR Mooney Galleries of Fine Art

Recap and Closing of our "Gallery Picks" curated hanging for the July Second Saturday

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Gail Sherman Corbett was a well-known sculptor, painter, and medalist who flourished as an artist in New York during the early decades of the 20th century.  Gail Sherman was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1872, and attended the local high school and later the Anne Brown School in New York City.  Sherman began her formal artistic training at the Art Students League in New York City, where she studied with the famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and the painters Henry Siddons Mowbray, a celebrated muralist, and George deForest Brush, a painter of colorful genre scenes. 

Later, she traveled to Paris and enrolled in the École des Beaux-arts from 1898-99.  During her sojourn in Paris, Sherman was exposed to the work of the Impressionists, from whom she incorporated a looser brushwork, lighter palette, and interest in contemporary urban scenes. 

The present work Avenue Parisienne was most likely painted during the artist's time in Paris.  The contemporary subject matter, fluid brushwork, and light-infused palette reflect the influence of the Impressionists on the artist's early painting style.

  • National Sculpture Society, 1907

  • Architectural League of New York

  • National Association of Women Artists

  • American Numistic Society

  • Art Institute of Chicago, 1912, 1916

  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Annual, 1902-06 (as Sherman), 1913

  • Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915 (medal)

  • National Association of Women Artists, 1935 (medal)

  • National Sculpture Society, 1923

  • Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, Sound View Press

  • E. Bénézit Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Editions Gründ

Jose Vives-Atsara used the palate knife with mastery and confidence to reveal dark blue clouds, threatening sky, and a windy day that rousts about the vegetation and bank of sandy soil.

The title of this painting is Wind and Vives-Atsara illustrated the grasses in extended length and overlapped colors and strokes to communicate the windy movement. The strokes are intentional and bold as he used his preferred limited signature of nine colors. The vertical and horizontal lines compete and skillfully design the effect of the unseen wind.  This is not a sunny windy day, rather, a dark ominous day; even the cloud formation signifies weather change and possibly more wind with even stronger force.

The painting is respectful of nature and the beauty before and during times of wind. 

©Betty Houston

Antonius "Toon" Koster, a renowned Dutch artist, was born in Schiedam, (South Holland) Netherlands in 1913. He went to the Art Academy in Rotterdam, Netherlands and became a painter, printmaker, industrial artist, enamellist and muralist.  During most of his artistic career he lived and worked in Nieuwkoop near the Nieuwkoopse Plassen.

Koster was a member of the Dutch Federation of Visual Artists, and died November 25, 1989 in Woerden, Netherlands.  Koster often used dark earthy colors and painted in broad coarse brush strokes, creating depressive and gloomy atmospheres; making for subtle impressionistic qualities.  When asked to which movement he belonged or which subjects he preferred, he answered: “There is no movement… and everything repeats itself.”

“Night City”, is a signature city-scape by Koster that exemplifies all that he was known for: boats, cities, gloom, illuminating sun/moon behind clouds, and his pictorial post WWII depressive metropolis.  A one point perspective only exacerbates the depressive complexity of the work with the angling of the drab buildings that line the boulevards, structures as borders for the blackened water in the industrial canal, a waterline that is cut midway down the composition with the three arched bridge.   We are boxed in on three sides with the horizon line blocking an eternal view.

 However, our release from the melancholy is up into the sky, but wait – impending catastrophes await us in the heavy snow laden billows that weigh down on us with only a glimmer of light; a false hope.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said “Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” ‘Tis true when dealing with Anthonius Henricus “Toon” Koster.

© Gabriel Diego Delgado


Eric Paulsen captures the light of day with fresh color and bold strokes of the palette knife.   Bridge in Town is a study in contrasts. He comments on the simple village and the common bridge ; the curved waterway, straight angles of roof tops and windows are central to the composition.  Neutral tones are the axis of the painting; yet harmonious with plantings, water and sky.  Warm tones of yellow and orange are sparingly used in contrast to the range of blues in water and sky.

The vegetation is mostly small abundant strokes with the pallet knife and the most contrasting in depth as compared with other surfaces. The most placid and quiet texture in the painting is that of the water with its mirror like image of shadows. Although there are three persons on the bridge, one appears to be fishing and the others are standing obliviously and quietly. It is this sum of contrasts that make Bridge in Town a gallery favorite. 

©Betty Houston

..."Tulok, a native to Budapest has always enjoyed painting and drawing.  He credits his break from his professional career in 1989 as a life changing decision that jumpstarted his professional artistic endeavors. Refining his trade and using a little fine art finesse, Tulok’s art is very distinguishing with a characteristic Renaissance style.

 Having mastered the art of painting on copper, Tulok has found a unique ground that has allowed his colors to flourish.  Part old master painter, part Realist, Tulok has rediscovered the chiaroscuro aesthetic; allowing a new generation of patrons to explore the blackened surroundings and out of view light source- accentuating the traditional still-life compositions.  His soft shadows, deep crimsons, and vibrant hues could not be achieved any other way, but with the exploration of this unusual metallic undercoating.

Often exaggerating the dew, moisture, and condensation on the elements in the composition, Tulok redefines a classical conception with a still life reemergence."

© Gabriel Diego Delgado

Sidney Sinclair is a resident of the Texas Hill country and knows and loves its beauty.  In her painting titled Hill Country Creek the simplicity of nature is painted using subtle soft tones and neighboring hues.

The lines and edges mingle and invite a visual tour across the canvas.  Soft light of day conveys a single quiet moment honoring the landscape in its raw strength and beauty.

The application of paint is respectfully layered without additional flourish; thereby,  achieving an ode to nature that is not intended to be anything more or less than already provided by nature.

©Betty Houston

The majestic skylines of Texas radiate an unexplainable beauty – the kind that harkens to the tributary songs of stars at night and the like in all its nostalgic inspirations.  Whether you’re experiencing the charming and subtle horizons of Corpus Christi, the flat plains of Lubbock and Plainview or the rugged mountains of Big Bend to the rolling Hill Country there is something unmistakable in its atmospheric awesomeness; with its sunrises and sunsets, its vast openness, or its terrifying and turbulent storms.

Russell Stephenson, a Texas painter, in an unrelenting approach has mastered the gorgeous godliness of our great state in his Panoramic Texas series paintings. Radiant browns and various tones of burnt sienna seem to meddle perfectly with contrasting cool slate grays, snowy silvers and wispy whites.  Atmospheric amalgamations of colors are ever approachable, digestible and delicate in their ephemeral and abstracted beauty.

In “Mesa”, Stephenson delivers a medium size rectangle painting, one that is anchored by a distinguishable plateau that is concisely centered, mingled and engulfed by feathered heavens that glow with an inner radiance; something that can only achieved by some cosmic enlightenment.  The top half of the painting is accented with marks or controlled chaos of the artist’s hand touches the panel in a series of deliberate gestures through pressure, contemplation and automatic subconscious responses.

© Gabriel Diego Delgado

William Henry Margetson studied at the South Kensington Schools and at the Royal Academy, where he exhibited from 1885. Known more as an illustrator for literary classics like The Tiger of Mysore, Trefoil, The Spider's Eye, A March on London, Red Morn, The Lights of Sydney, and Straits of Time by Christopher Hare; Margetson executed a series of small paintings he titled “In the Straits of Time”- a collective of watercolor/gauche paintings and prints that were based on a play of the book by Hare.  Usually upbeat and full of whimsical muse, Margetson’s female figures border on illustrious Art Deco beauties, however with “In the Straits of Time”, he  forces us to ponder the lives of the misfortunate.

Recounting tails of death, famine, misery and the Black Plague, Margetson provides a monotone palette of black and white melancholic images that evoke a sense of dire straits.  Of the 5 works available, one can be singled out as a masterfully denoted summarization of such a series. The singular painting depicts the scene in the book/play where four completely different types of people inhabit the same room; each wholly concerned about the deteriorating health of a little girl.  Grimly silhouetted in the background, a Catholic Nun and a Victorian Englishman lurk off to the left hand side. Concealed in shadows, they come to represent so much more than mere mortal aspirations.  Metaphorically, the older man’s grimace and fragility mocks the innocence and jubilation of the adolescent little girl, while the Nun ponders an existential afterlife bound by the glory of faith, accepting of her inevitable fate and infantile demise.

Stark contrasts can be drawn between the two characters [caregiver and child]. Head wrap, shawl, bedding, and nightgown give sterile misconstrued assumptions of purity. Engulfed  in a tender embrace, the motherly figures have eyes that are shut with tenderness; a sentimentality one can only give with sincere compassion; while the dazed and widen eyes of the child turn a gaze to the unknown, with an apprehension of a beckoning light drawing ever closer.

© Gabriel Diego Delgado

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